“But what them pockets do?”: Financial Questions to Ask Before Committing

So you and your new boo have just passed the 3 or 4 month mark and conversations of a long term commitment have been popping up here and there. He’s fine AF… from a great family… and you have an inkling that he just might be “the one”. You’re on cloud nine, sis, and all your friends and family know it. Then, the D is good too?! Ohh chile! Let me help you make sure this “Mandingo” is all the way TO-GEH-THA!

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I got you!

Let’s start by NOT asking him too many direct questions about his financials. There’s a way to talk about it… without actually talking about it. You feel me, ma shizzle? 

These beginning stages are very delicate. He’s still mentally comparing you to the women before. Therefore, prove yourself different. Between social media and the trademark “old hoe” mentality, I’m willing to bet you that all his ex-flames were trying to figure out “what them pockets do”… and you will too but you; you gonna finesse it, boo. So let’s get into it:

“How/Where are your parents?”

Usually when folks come from a stable family, they’re committed to one day forging a stable lifestyle for themselves; simply because that’s what they’ve grown accustomed to and would like to emulate. If they come from a more unstable household, expect them to experience a learning curve as it relates to becoming financial stable. Just hope that curve occurred somewhere in the past before you. This isn’t an absolute, nah, because at the end of the day there’s two things called free will and life path/purpose that you must take into account.

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

So cliche right? I feel like we’ve been answering this question since 2nd grade but in a nutshell you’re asking him “Baby, let me know where you goin… AND what steps you’re taking to get there!” Who wants to live in stagnation? We want progress and progress we shall have by any mean necessary… but does oh boy believe that too? And be careful with this question because if men cant do anything else, they can sell a dream. After his response, follow up with: “And what steps are your currently taking to get there?” Now this is a very direct question but needed in order to gauge his seriousness about being with you and life in general. And girl, if he mentions you somewhere in those plans, DING! DING! DING! Jackpot!

“What do you rather: employment or entrepreneurship?”

It’s 2020 and just about everyone knows that entrepreneurship is the goal. It’s where the real “racks” are made. Now nothing’s wrong with an employed brotha but understand dependent on his position and employment organization, you run the risk of dealing with sudden lay offs and pay cuts which could put you and your future family in an uncomfortable financial bind without a clear expiration date. Even though there’s paycheck consistency with employment, it’s always a fixed amount unless he gets some overtime or bonuses. Besides, if he’s a hustler, he’s going to have multiple streams of income anyway. So a great answer here would most likely be: “both” if he’s a multidimensional thinker.

“Joint or Separate?”

This is a perfect time to figure out his financial boundaries. Should we be “all in (each other’s) Koolaid”? Or should we keep things separate? Honestly, every couple’s preferences are different but you all’s needs to be discussed now before any major commitment is made. Just note, according to MarketWatch and TD Ameritrade, “41% of divorced Gen Xers and 29% of Boomers say they ended their marriage due to disagreements about money.” Joint accounts may sound good but when arguments start cropping up about how much he spent on a business lunch last week or how often he takes colleagues or friends to the “titty bar”, you’re going to begin to regret the very day a joint account even cropped up in conversation. This is sure to develop into more trouble than it’s worth. Be proactive here. Your future self will think you.

Yet, on the other hand, if he’s the one pushing joint accounts to maybe keep an eye on you… RUN! In my voice, “Look, don’t worry about my coins!”

“Any passive income streams?”

“So what else is going on, sir?” Yes you’re an entrepreneur, district manager, mortgage lender etc. but what else do you have cooking? A big factor to becoming wealthy or creating financial security is allowing your money to “be social”. Did he invest in his friend’s booming business during the start up phase and is now experiencing the positive effects of his risk? Good! Does he live paycheck to paycheck and is a Scrooge with his coins? Bad! You don’t want to be associated with someone with a spirit of lack anyway. You feel me? 

Comment and let me know what other financial questions need answers before you commit!

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